Lemon balm (melissa officinalis) is an herb in the mint family. It is often utilized to make teas, marinate chicken or fish, or include taste to baked foods and jams.

Lemon balm is likewise believed to treat a variety of medical conditions affecting the digestive system, nerve system, and liver.1 its usage dates back to the 14th century when carmelite nuns utilized it to make an alcoholic tonic commonly called carmelite water.

Today, lemon balm is utilized in conventional medication as both a sleep help and gastrointestinal tonic. It can be consumed as tea, taken as a supplement or extract, or rubbed on the skin in balms and cream. Lemon balm necessary oil is also popular in aromatherapy, where it’s used to eliminate tension and keep you relax.

This article will discuss the advantages, side effects, and dose of lemon balm. It will likewise talk about how lemon balm is used to deal with stress and anxiety, sleeping disorders, digestion issues, liver disorders, and issues with the nerve system.

Also called

Lemon balm is likewise known as:

  • Bee balm
  • Cure-all
  • Dropsy plant
  • Honey plant
  • Sweet balm
  • Sweet mary
  • Toronjil
  • Xiang feng cao (in standard chinese medicine) [1]


Melissa officinalis is a lemon-scented seasonal in the lamiaceae household with serrated heart-shaped leaves. For centuries, lemon balm has been utilized for its helpful homes and has actually been extremely respected for its psychological and spiritual impacts. Melissa has actually typically been utilized as a mild nervine and in baths to support healthy skin. It is typically utilized to promote a sense of calm and can be brewed into a citrusy lemon balm tea, incorporated into other natural tea blends, and included in body care recipes.

Used considering that ancient times to relax the heart and the body, lemon balm with its fragile lemony flavor uplifts the spirit and any cooking meal it is contributed to. It has actually been utilized to sweeten jam, jellies, as an addition to salad, and as a flavoring for various fish and poultry meals and liqueurs. Even more, lemon balm is used for making fragrances, in cosmetics, and in furniture polish manufacturing. It is often discovered as a tea in mix with other relaxing herbs such as valerian, as a necessary oil, and also in lotions for topical applications.

Native to the mediterranean and numerous areas in n. Africa, asia, and europe, lemon balm is a lemon-scented, aromatic, seasonal with serrated heart-shaped leaves and whorls of small blue, yellow, or white flowers normal of numerous members of the lamiaceae household. It is widely cultivated and naturalized throughout the world in temperate locations.

Making use of lemon balm returns countless years to the time of the ancient romans and greeks. One of its first tape-recorded usages was as a wine instilled liniment. Dioscorides (a greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist practicing in the first century in rome, who authored the organic de materia medica), discusses its usage in this way, and it was likewise used in this exact same manner in ayurvedic medicine. St. Hildegard of bingen, an herbalist and nun born in 1098 c.e. In present day germany said, «lemon balm includes within it the virtues of a dozen other plants.» According to nicholas culpepper (a botanist, devoted astrologist, doctor, herbalist, and author of the total herbal, written in 1653), stated dried lemon balm might be made into a fine ‹electuary› with honey. He wrote that it was ruled by the world jupiter and connected with the zodiac sign of cancer, for that reason having an association with the water aspect and hence a result on feelings.

Lemon balm was traditionally used to uplift the spirits. As culpepper mentioned, some of its properties were spiritual in nature. This herb was used in spells to recover broken hearts and likewise to draw in romantic love.

In an ancient text of the middle east stating azerbaijani herbal remedies practices called the tibbname, a bath in lemon balm tea was believed to support heart health and to promote healthy skin. It was a common practice to use lemon balm externally or to take internally for its relaxing effects. Melissa officinalis, and its cousin, m. Parviflora, have actually been made use of in ayurveda to calm the stomach and balance mood, and has been utilized in standard chinese medication (tcm), in which it is considered energetically cooling and drying, for thousands of years too. According to herbalist matthew wood, «melissa will generally soothe most people.» carmelite water, or ‹eau des carmes› as it is contacted france, was a distilled alcoholic digestive tonic containing lemon balm, lemon peel, nutmeg, and angelica root, developed by the carmelite nuns (roman catholic religious order) from the abbey of st. Just in the 14th century. It was used for centuries in europe to support healthy food digestion and is still readily available today.

Melissa, the generic name, is the greek word for ‹honeybee,› called such because of the bee’s love of the this magnificently fragrant herb. In ancient mythology, the group of nymphs called ‹melissai› were credited as those who discovered honey. Their sign was the bee, and it was believed that they metamorphosed into bees sometimes, and at one such point, a swarm of these nymph-bees were thought to have assisted wanderers to the ancient land of ephesus (now turkey). [2]

Plant description

Belonging to europe, lemon balm is grown all over the world. It is grown not just in herb gardens or to bring in bees, but likewise in crops for medicine, cosmetics, and furnishings polish production. The plant grows up to 2 feet high, in some cases greater if not preserved. In the spring and summer season, clusters of small, light yellow flowers grow where the leaves meet the stem. The leaves are extremely deeply old and wrinkly and variety from dark green to yellow-colored green in color, depending on the soil and climate. If you rub the leaves, your fingers will smell tart and sweet, like lemons. The leaves are similar fit to mint leaves, and originate from the same plant household.

What is it made from?

Lemon balm supplements are made from the leaves of the plant. Important oils made from lemon balm leaves include plant chemicals called terpenes, which dip into least some role in the herb’s relaxing and antiviral results. Lemon balm contains compounds called tannins, which may be accountable for a number of the herb’s antiviral results. Lemon balm also consists of eugenol, which calms muscle spasms, numbs tissues, and kills germs.

Available forms

Lemon balm is readily available as a dried leaf that can be bought in bulk. It is also sold as tea, and in capsules, extracts, tinctures, and oil. Some creams utilized in europe, which include high levels of lemon balm, are not offered in the united states. On the other hand, teas can be applied to the skin with cotton balls. Lemon balm is likewise available in holistic solutions and as aromatherapy (essential oil). [3]

10 Health Advantages of Lemon Balm

1. It can assist ease stress

Lemon balm is stated to soothe signs of stress, assist you to unwind, and increase your mood.

A 2004 research study found that taking lemon balm eased the negative state of mind results of laboratory-induced psychological tension. Participants who took lemon balm self-reported an increased sense of calmness and decreased feelings of awareness.

Although this was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it had a little sample size of 18 people. Further research study is required to elaborate on these findings.

How to use: take 300 milligrams (mg) of lemon balm in capsule form two times a day. You can take a single dosage of 600 mg in acute episodes of stress.

2. It can help in reducing anxiety

Lemon balm might also be used to help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as uneasiness and excitability.

Research released in 2014 took a look at the mood and cognitive impacts of foods including lemon balm. The supplement was mixed into a drink and into yogurt along with either natural or sweetening agents. Individuals in both groups reported favorable effects on different elements of mood, consisting of reduced levels of anxiety.

Although this is appealing, more research study is required to truly identify its efficacy.

How to utilize: take 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm three times daily. You can take a higher dose in severe episodes of stress and anxiety.

3. It might improve cognitive function

The exact same 2014 research study likewise looked at the effects of lemon balm in enhancing cognitive function.

Individuals were asked to do cognitive jobs involving memory, mathematics, and concentration. The outcomes of these electronic tasks suggest that participants who consumed lemon balm carried out better than those who didn’t.

Although these participants did experience a boost in levels of alertness and efficiency, it’s still possible for tiredness to embed in time. Combining lemon balm with food likewise impacts its absorption rate, which might have had an effect on its effectiveness. Additional research is needed.

How to utilize: take 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm 3 times a day.

4. It can assist reduce sleeping disorders and other sleep conditions

Combining lemon balm with valerian might help eliminate uneasyness and sleep disorders such as sleeping disorders.

Scientists in one 2006 research study found that kids who took an integrated dose experienced a 70 to 80 percent improvement in symptoms. Both the researchers and moms and dads related to lemon balm as being a great or very good treatment. Still, more research study is needed to verify these findings.

How to use: drink a cup of tea brewed with valerian and lemon balm before bed. You can find loose-leaf or bagged alternatives at your regional grocery store or online.

5. It may help deal with fever blisters

You can even use lemon balm topically at the first indication of a cold sore.

Participants in a 1999 study used either a lemon balm or placebo cream on the affected location four times each day for 5 days. The researchers found that the individuals who used the lemon balm cream experienced less symptoms and healed faster than those who didn’t.

The researchers likewise suggested that utilizing lemon balm cream might assist lengthen the periods in between cold sore break outs. Further studies are needed to expand on these findings.

How to utilize: apply a lemon balm cream to the affected area numerous times daily. Be sure to patch test the cream on the inside of your lower arm before applying it to the fever blister. If you do not experience any inflammation or swelling within 24 hr, it ought to be safe to utilize.

6. It might help relieve indigestion

If you experience regular stomach pain and pain, lemon balm might have a positive effect on your digestion.

A little study from 2010trusted source evaluated the impacts of a cold dessert containing lemon balm on practical dyspepsia. Participants consumed a sorbet, with or without the herb, after a meal. Although both types of desserts reduced the signs and their intensity, the dessert containing lemon balm intensified this result. More research study is required.

How to utilize: add 1 teaspoon (tsp) of lemon balm powder to a bowl of ice cream or smoothie and delight in.

7. It can help deal with nausea

Offered its possible effect on your digestion system, lemon balm might also help eliminate sensations of queasiness.

A 2005 evaluation evaluating the outcomes of a number of research studies on lemon balm discovered the herb to be helpful in treating intestinal signs such as this. Although this is a promising development, it is necessary to acknowledge the research study constraints.

A number of the research studies took a look at lemon balm utilized in conjunction with other herbs. Further research is needed to figure out the efficacy of lemon balm when used alone.

How to use: consume a cup of lemon balm tea at the very first sign of nausea. You can discover loose-leaf or bagged options at your local supermarket or online.

8. It may assist lessen menstrual cramps

There’s also research to recommend that lemon balm can be utilized to alleviate menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (pms).

A 2015 studytrusted source investigated the result of lemon balm in minimizing the strength of cramps in 100 high school women. The ladies took either a lemon balm essence or a placebo for three consecutive menstruations. The intensity of pms symptoms was analyzed in the past and one, two, and three months after the trial. The group who took the lemon balm reported a substantial decrease in signs. More research study is required to validate these findings.

How to utilize: take 1200 mg of lemon balm daily for ideal results. This will allow the herb to enter your system long before it’s time for pms symptoms to appear. Continued usage is thought to minimize your symptoms gradually.

9. It might assist reduce headache discomfort

Lemon balm may likewise be useful in dealing with headaches, especially if they’re happening as a result of tension. Its relaxing residential or commercial properties can assist you to loosen up, launch stress, and relax your muscles. It’s also though that consuming the herb can assist to open and relax tight blood vessels, which can contribute to headaches.

How to use: if you experience persistent headaches, you may discover it beneficial take 300 to 600 mg of lemon balm up to 3 times each day. This will allow the herb to enter your system well prior to a headache develops. You can take a higher dose if you feel a headache establishing.

10. It may help decrease toothache discomfort

Lemon balm’s pain-relieving properties might make it an ideal option for alleviating toothache discomfort. In addition to drawing on its relaxing residential or commercial properties, this natural home remedy is believed to target swelling in the body. More research is required to validate these findings.

How to use: utilize a cotton swab to apply lemon balm oil to the affected location as required. Make sure to select an oil that has actually already been watered down by a provider oil, such as jojoba. If you buy pure lemon balm oil, you should dilute it. Vital oils need to not be applied directly to the skin up until they are diluted in a carrier oil. [4]

How to utilize lemon balm

As a basic rule of thumb, deal with lemon balm as you would any other fresh herb. It works especially well in place of mint, offering bright, fragrant notes. Add whole lemon balm leaves to green salads, or chiffonade the leaves and spread them over a fruit salad for added zesty flavor. Lemon balm also pairs wonderfully with poultry– attempt adding chopped leaves to chicken salad, fish dishes, and even veggie dishes to serve on the side. Unlike other herbs, you’re less most likely to discover dried lemon balm in the spice and herb aisle of your grocery store (though you might find it in specialized health shops and online). Provide lemon balm tea a shot too; it’s just as soothing as chamomile or lavender however with a lovely citrus flavor.

Much like mint or basil, you can also sweet lemon balm leaves and use the finished item as a crunchy, crystallized garnish over ice cream or tarts. It also works wonders in recipes that require lemon verbena (like these cookies)– but keep in mind that lemon balm isn’t as extreme, so adjust the quantities as essential.

For a thirst-quenching sip, infuse water with lemon balm leaves, which you can drink as is or utilize to create granita, a light, icy dessert. After all, nothing is fancier than flavored water. When it comes time for happy hour, «lemon balm makes an absolutely tasty liqueur,» says greenstuff. Similarly, instill whipping cream with lemon balm leaves to make panna cotta or crème brûlée.


Lemon balm grows in winter and is in season throughout the summer into early fall. Wish to plant it yourself? Select the sunniest area you can, though it can and will deal with a teeny bit of shade. Water it often and see as it grows almost two feet tall.

Other types of lemon balm

In addition to the fresh herb, you can likewise consume lemon balm in the form of an oil or supplement. Lemon balm oils might be cut with water and veggie glycerin, which just makes it safe to consume orally or utilized straight on your skin. While it isn’t a cure for any health problems or diseases, it can act as a help to relieve aching muscles, minimize inflammation, and even decrease the swelling and soreness related to certain skin problem like chicken pox, eczema, or psoriasis. Try to find organic lemon balm oil made with very little ingredients from a credible seller. Ahead, we’re sharing some recipes that use lemon balm in four rejuvenating methods.

Our favorite lemon balm dishes

Okra seed couscous salad

Okra seed «couscous» is a cool, nutty ingredient that shines in this loosely mediterranean-inspired salad. Thin slices of cucumbers are tossed with fresh lemon balm, sumac powder, and feta cheese, plus the okra, for a light summer season side.

Cannellini bean croquettes

There’s insufficient advantages we can say about these crispy, golden brown vegetarian bites. A handful of fresh herbs such as lemon balm perks up the robust vegetarian mix made with cannellini beans, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese.

The sundown palmer

Perk up a traditional arnold palmer with a power-packed mix of fresh lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon verbena leaves, and lemon enthusiasm. Integrate newly brewed black tea with the lemon-herb mix for a cooling sip on a hot day. Beyond this drink, usage lemon balm to make fancy ice or a basic syrup to sweeten any beverage.

Radish & herb salad with sungold tomatoes & strawberries

2 cups of mixed intense herbs (think: lemon balm, dill, basil, and mint) are a lovely addition to this juicy summer season salad. The simplest dressing made from yogurt and maple syrup presents sweet, velvety notes that coats each aspect of this dish. [5]

Propagating lemon balm

Lemon balm is what’s known as a self-seeding plant, indicating outdoors it spreads its seeds to advance its growth (hence why some garden enthusiasts consider it invasive). However, most indoor growers won’t see their plants set seeds. Instead, it’s recommended to discard your lemon balm plant if it bolts (goes to flower), in part because the taste and potency of the leaves will be reduced. It’s simple to start new plants from packaged seeds (they will sprout in a little over a week) or merely buy brand-new seedlings at your local garden center.

How to grow lemon balm from seed

Lemon balm seeds require adequate light in order to sprout and grow. To start your plant from seed, begin them in a shallow pot or meal, barely covering the seeds with more than a sprinkle of soil (this ought to be done about 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost if you want to transplant the herb outdoors). Expose the dish to adequate light and simply sufficient water to keep them from drying out (its handy to utilize a spray bottle instead of a watering can for this phase) and germination must happen in 10– 14 days. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to deal with easily, you can transplant them into a traditional pot with soil. [6]

Adverse effects

When taken by mouth: lemon balm is most likely safe when consumed in quantities found in foods. Lemon balm supplements are possibly safe when utilized at a dosage of approximately 500 mg daily for approximately 6 months. Side effects are typically mild and might include increased cravings, nausea, lightheadedness, and wheezing. There isn’t sufficient dependable information to understand if lemon balm is safe to use for more than 6 months.

When applied to the skin: lemon balm is potentially safe for many adults. It might trigger skin irritation. [7]
One evaluation research study discovered no adverse effects when people utilized lemon balm for thirty days or less at the appropriate dose. However, the study did point out that there may be a prospective danger for:.

  • Ladies who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Young children
  • People with thyroid conditions
  • People taking sedatives

A case studytrusted source involving one person with particular symptoms indicated that lemon balm has the potential to cause withdrawal-like symptoms. [8]


None well recorded. A little trial examined the cardiac effects of lemon balm and reported possible heart muscarinic receptor stimulation or calcium channel-dependent obstruction.38 potentiation of pharmacologic representatives may be possible. [9]


What is lemon balm? Lemon balm (melissa officinalis) is a seasonal herb that’s grown all over the world.

People have used this plant for centuries as an organic treatment and alternative medicine to deal with various disorders.

Scientific research study has actually shown it can be efficient in protecting the heart and liver from typical diseases. Other lemon balm benefits include having anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant homes.

These homes frequently run in ways that circumvent the typical resistances that diseases form to lots of medications and treatments.

Lemon balm can be used topically to assist treat herpes outbreaks and extend time between outbreaks.

Utilizing lemon balm oil, extract, tea and other products can improve mood, concentration and sleep quality while reducing anxiety. This herb may also help manage an overactive thyroid, fight pms signs and improve digestion. [10]


  1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-health-benefits-of-lemon-balm-89388
  2. https://mountainroseherbs.com/lemon-balm
  3. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/lemon-balm
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/lemon-balm-uses#toothache
  5. https://food52.com/blog/10787-lemon-balm-and-20-ways-to-use-it
  6. https://www.thespruce.com/grow-lemon-balm-indoors-1902572
  7. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-437/lemon-balm
  8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/lemon-balm-uses#side-effects
  9. https://www.drugs.com/npp/lemon-balm.html
  10. Https://draxe.com/nutrition/lemon-balm/#risks_side_effects_and_interactions
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